Editorial Archive

Motivated and inspired staff key to TTC improvements

2/13/15 6:00 PM

When the TTC launched its Five-Year Corporate Plan in 2013 to modernize the TTC, I said at the time that the biggest challenge would be to transform our corporate culture to be universally customer-led, engaged and welcoming.

While the other big ticket items in our plan are themselves complex – such as the introduction of new streetcars, the roll out of a smartcard or the re-signalling a line – these can seem comparatively straightforward compared to encouraging everyone in a big, traditional operation like the TTC to look, behave and think differently.

We have many fantastic people at this company, many of whom have already been featured on these pages. TTC staff work very hard, day in and day out, to move ever-rising numbers of customers on an aging network, and one that has suffered from under-investment over recent decades.

But I strongly believe that culture change is not a question of funding. It can only be achieved by good management that inspires and motivates front line staff to do a great job because they know why it matters to offer consistently excellent customer service.

For that reason, we are putting a lot of effort and energy into empowering staff at the local level to be able to offer better customer service. It’s why we have added more staff at subway stations and in our Customer Service Centre. It’s also why we are asking staff to “think like a customer” and put themselves in the customer’s shoes, especially when things go wrong. This means giving prompt and useful updates when the service is delayed, addressing customers’ issues quickly wherever possible and going the extra mile for customers that are in need of extra help.

Mayor John Tory’s recent announcement of a record increase in funding to restore previous service cuts and to add new service is, I believe, a vote of confidence in the TTC and it suggests that City Hall decision-makers feel that the TTC is on the right track in the improvements that we are making.

We need to show that we are worthy of that investment and in the faith that has been put in us by the mayor. To that end, my team is working up the fine detail of the improved services that we will introduce if, as I fervently hope, we win City Council approval for increased subsidy in just a few weeks’ time.

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In Memoriam

Armstrong, Babcock, Baird, Barrow, Brown, Budd, Charles, Dean, Dudar, Frilles, Gianvecchio, Hales, Holloway, Jamal, Lachapelle, Martins, McCullough, Nelson, Nimmo, Ponte, Roberge, Rotolo, Sottile, Timal.

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